I know one motorcycle dealer who, on his own initiative, keeps a running list of all his customers and prospects, and regularly sends them a meaningful “how-to” paragraph every month. Another client is a local small-business owner who publishes books on home repair maintenance to feed his primary business, which is home inspection. Talk about credibility boosts!
Why should you engage in these activities, too? First, when people see your name in print, it positions you as an authority on the subject. People often defer to the advice and guidance of experts. Second, you can reach many people with a meaningful yet non-promotional message, enabling your readers to become more familiar with you to the point they feel they know you.
You can take a variety of approaches with your writing strategies:
- An article for an industry trade publication
- A piece for your local newspaper’s op-ed section
- A guest blog post on a relevant website
- Social-media networks, via your own pages and those of your business
Keep in mind — and this is crucial — that you’re not writing promotional copy. If you sell tires, you don’t want to proclaim, “You won’t believe the price we can get you on new tires!” Rather, these should be informative pieces that help readers do, think or feel differently about something: “Three reasons why spring is the best time of year to inspect your tires.” That way, you’re persuading readers to check their tires; if they need new ones, who do you think they’re going to call?
Include your name, with a current photo and contact information, and watch people seek you out for more information. Do this with some regularity, and you’ll become a known entity.
Additionally, use social media platforms to burnish your image and reputation by posting a comment about something you heard in a keynote presentation at a cool seminar. This will start a conversation. Or simply post a question in one of the forums you frequent, such as, “What was the best marketing idea you saw this year?”
On the other hand, photographs of you passed out after Friday night’s revelry might not be the best thing to post on your Facebook page if you’re actually trying to boost your credibility. And that profane rant about Donald Trump? Stop.